Iona Players charm audiences with fall production ‘Into the Woods’


Photo Courtesy of Iona University

The Iona Players highlighted the whimsical and grim retellings of classic fairytales in their fall production.

Joseph Ferrer, Arts & Entertainment Editor

The Iona Players performed their fall production “Into the Woods” on the weekend of Oct. 21-22. Students and families from across the Iona community came together for three performances to see the Players take on the classic musical.  


Based on the original 1987 Broadway production, “Into the Woods” recounts the stories of a variety of fairy tales such as “Cinderella,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Jack and the Beanstalk” and several others. Characters from each of the fairy tales cross paths as the plot recounts the Brothers Grimm versions of the stories which feature darker takes on the well-known narratives. As the characters venture into the woods to accomplish their individual goals, they face more dire consequences for their decisions than in the original childhood stories.  


The performers within the Iona Players excellently portrayed each of their individual roles while bringing their own unique takes on the characters. Juniors Brendan Martinez and Gabriella Riccio with their lead roles as the Baker and his wife expressed a wide range of emotions throughout each of the characters’ stories from the Baker’s overt willingness to mislead others to fulfill his goal of ending a curse in order to have a child to his wife’s entertaining efforts to please and appeal to royalty throughout the story. Others such as freshman, Marisa Costanzo, and senior, Brendan Broesler, showed great chemistry with their roles as Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf respectively with each giving plucky, memorable performances. Sophomore, Elizabeth Caragliano, showcased a wide range of acting talent across multiple roles such as Cinderella’s soft-hearted mother, to the Giant’s wife with a booming voice that filled the theater. Despite being primarily offstage for these roles, Caragliano managed to fit each of the roles so well that it would be easy to believe that they were played by two separate actors.  


Not only did the Players showcase their talent as actors but musically as well with the variety of songs performed throughout the show. Senior Devon Gabriel and sophomore Sean Rivera won the audience over with both of their performances of “Agony” as they captured the comedic nature of the number as Cinderella’s and Rapunzel’s princes.  Freshman, Alyssa Green, was a particular highlight with her role as the Witch. Her performance during the numbers “Stay With Me” and “Witch’s Lament” showcased her vocal talent with her dynamic and powerful singing.  


The crew members of the Players also helped bring the play to life through their set design. The stage itself was decorated with forest scenery that fit the whimsical setting of the show. The crew also put together landmarks such as Rapunzel’s tower to utilize throughout the play. The props of the set dynamically changed with the plot such as when trees in the background were knocked down and fell as the Giant’s wife descends from the beanstalk and moves throughout the forest.  


“Into the Woods” sets a new precedent for the Iona Players  with the talented cast that elevated the story and the musical numbers as well as the crew that contributed to the fantastical and whimsical feeling of the plot.